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Welfare rights

3 August, 2021

Court of Appeal overrules High Court judgment that found that differential treatment of social security benefit claimants with a terminal illness is unlawful

With the NI government having committed to changing the 12-month rule and to looking at further options for reform, Court finds that it would not be appropriate for it to intervene

2 August, 2021

Work and Pensions Committee launches inquiry into children in poverty with no recourse to public funds

Committee seeks to understand how many children with NRPF are living in poverty, how the pandemic has impacted on them, and what support is available to them

30 July, 2021

Radical overhaul of the DWP’s approach to employment support needed to break down unacceptable barriers faced by disabled people

New Work and Pensions Committee report recommends wide-ranging changes including localisation of employment support and 'wholesale reform' of the work capability assessment

29 July, 2021

Department for Communities confirms Steps 2 Success programme closed for all participants with effect from 31 March 2021

However, final statistical bulletin highlights that validation of employment outcomes was not possible between March 2020 and February 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic

28 July, 2021

Government sets out plans to ‘make the world of work more inclusive and accessible’ for disabled people as part of new National Disability Strategy

However, Disability Rights UK says strategy is 'disappointingly thin' on immediate actions, medium-term plans and the details of longer-term investment

27 July, 2021

Urgent reform of legal aid needed to ensure that the most vulnerable have access to justice, say MPs

New Justice Committee report calls for changes including extension of possession duty scheme model to other areas of law, and introduction of updated version of Green Form scheme

27 July, 2021

Northern Ireland Communities Minister urges UK Government to retain £20 uplift to universal credit and working tax credit

Minister argues that removal of uplift 'could plunge vulnerable families and households into unnecessary and unacceptable financial hardship'

27 July, 2021 Open access

Local authorities underspent Scottish Welfare Fund’s £60 million budget by £10 million in the year to 31 March 2021

However, despite the underspend, crisis grant expenditure increased 50 per cent compared to the previous year to reach £20 million

26 July, 2021

DWP reminds local authorities of process to follow when Breathing Space moratorium applies to rent and council tax arrears recovered by deductions from benefits

Local authorities advised that deductions can only resume once Breathing Space ends if DWP receives request for them to restart

26 July, 2021

Treatment of Scottish child disability payment for the purposes of housing benefit

New DWP guidance confirms that benefit cap does not apply where CDP is in payment

26 July, 2021

Disregarding disability assistance and other devolved Scottish benefits as income or capital in the calculation of means-tested benefits

New statutory instrument

23 July, 2021

DWP concedes judicial review challenge by couple who lost almost £10,000 on transferring to universal credit

Garden Court North Chambers advises that case may be important for other claimants who were entitled to SDP at date of transfer to universal credit, even if that entitlement was only decided afterwards

23 July, 2021 Open access

Universal credit claimants being notified via their online journal accounts today that the £20 uplift is to end in the autumn

Notifications issued as the JRF warns that removal of the uplift represents the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since World War II and the foundation of the modern welfare state

23 July, 2021

Minister confirms DWP has no plans to further review its handling of pre-appeal ‘offer’ calls made to PIP claimants in the past

Response to written parliamentary question also advises that an equality impact assessment has not been conducted despite the practice operating for more than 20 years

23 July, 2021

FOI response confirms universal credit system error that led to recoverable overpayments for some claimants affected by bedroom tax is now fixed

DWP adds that staff guidance or training on the issue 'is not held' and is not now needed as 'the correction stops overpayments from happening'

23 July, 2021

DWP responds to Social Security Advisory Committee’s November 2020 report on the Motability scheme

Work and Pensions Minister Justin Tomlinson addresses recommendations made by the Committee in relation to benefit eligibility criteria and reassessment processes

23 July, 2021

DWP confirms funding allocations for local authorities joining the Housing Benefit Award Accuracy Initiative this month

Funding intended to support 'proactive identification of unreported changes and to make sure the right amount of housing benefit is paid to the right person, at the right time'

22 July, 2021

Ministry of Justice launches advice sector survey to inform its work to improve access to early legal support

Feedback sought from frontline advisers, caseworkers and lawyers across England Wales

22 July, 2021

Around 60,000 new PIP claims made in 2020 have yet to be determined

DWP Minister advises that this represents around 1 in 10 new claims for the year, although adds that Department is currently operating 'within expected levels’